As part of the centenary year of Welwyn Garden City, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council led a programme of community engagement to introduce the WGC 2120 vision to residents. The principle of redeveloping the Campus East site was established in 2005 and has been allocated for a mixed used development within the adopted District Plan, and more recently was identified within the emerging Local Plan for solely residential. It is one of five strategic allocated sites offering residential, amenity, and infrastructure improvements within the Town centre.
Saunders were appointed as Architect for Bellway’s bid of c.300 units as part of the Town’s WGC 2120 vision. Following a successful bid, the Bellway team have continued to engage with local residents, stakeholders and the Council to evolve the masterplan, following good design and place-making principles. The site was carefully considered to understand both its key strengths and opportunities. Several existing conditions such as poor connections between the site and town centre, noise constraints and below ground services were identified and addressed within the early proposals. Subsequent collaboration with the Council identified key features on the site that would be retained or enhanced such as pedestrian and cycle movement through the site, creation of a public central open space and a formalised site access with a positive frontage.
Saunders and the Bellway team have continued engagement with local residents, stakeholders and the Council to evolve the masterplan following good design and place-making principles, responding to site context and reflecting its Conservation Area context and traditions of the Garden City.